26 Apr For the Kids

I’m concerned.

My 10-year-old son just got a homework assignment.

He had to take a character from one of the books that he had been given to read as an assignment and write a page full of questions that he’d like to ask that character.

After three or four pretty basic questions like what’s the character’s favorite color, sport, food, he started to get stuck. He couldn’t get into the zone. And he felt uninspired.

Like any of us might.

I sat down with him to help brainstorm for a few minutes. I was careful to not feed him the questions I would ask but to try and help inspire his thinking. And then I left the room. I came back a while later, and he’d gotten to half a page. Still struggling. I gave him a few more words of inspiration, ping-ponged with him further and then left him on his own again.

Eventually, he had a page full of questions with some that were pretty original. But for him, it wasn’t easy. It took time. It was an effort.

His sweat.

His blood.

His tears.

He’d accomplished something and he felt that.

So what’s my concern?


I’m not worried about what it will do to me. Or what it will do to anyone in their 40’s.

But to anyone younger.

Specifically, our children.

I know parents who are already encouraging their children to use chat GPT. People in my son’s ecosystem. 10-year-olds. And it’s so easy for children to go to this tool and ask it to come up with ideas for them. It’s so bloody convenient.

And to me, it’s a potentially horrific tool.

Because when I zoom out of the individual child using the tool, and I don’t mean to be dramatic here, I kind of see the end en-masse.

Humanity wasn’t built on prompts. Humanity was built by being able to sit down, dig deep, focus, struggle, hit walls and bounce your ideas off of them. On your own or perhaps with some guidance, but pretty much using your own brain power. Your own mind.

The foundation for how you go about things as an adult are the things you learned as a child.

We are losing something fundamental with this tool. Children will take the hit because, and by no fault of their own, they’ll become lazy and take shortcuts. But ultimately, society will suffer, too.

That’s because I see this happening with many professionals, too.

Let me be the first to say it – I’m not worried about my job.

What I’ve been able to achieve in my approximately 30 year career has been the result of what I have inside myself. Of hard work. Of being taught by some of the best people in the business and reaching out to the right people for guidance to this day. Due to brainstorming, endless hours of frustration and sometimes feeling like I can’t find a way to the creative results I so desperately want, but somehow making it through. Time and time again. I’ve been there and I’ve done that and if I’m going to use a tool to help me when I’m stuck, at this stage, yeah, I might do that once in a while. It is not my foundation.

Because I already have my foundation.

But for so many people nowadays it is becoming the go-to. It is becoming their foundation.

People that I know personally are stopping to think for themselves. They just go to the tool.





Web copy.


Is that a terrible thing? In the moment, maybe not. In the micro, it’ll help inspire, it’ll help you do the work, heck, it might even do the work for you, and that might be fine. Once. Twice. Three times.

But if I zoom out to the macro, yes, that scares me.

Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like lazy.

People don’t come to me or Natie Branding Agency for lazy.

They come for our real effort, years of experience and respect for the craft.

And that goes for any creative outlet in any industry.

It’s not politically correct to say this right now but if you know me well enough you’ll already know what I think about being politically correct. To hell with my newsfeed full of chatGPT generated, copy, and boring artificial Midjourney images that all look the same and bore me to death. Yawn. Give me reality over that ANY day of the week.

This tool is ALREADY taking over the creative process and transforming people into prompt generators. Fine for me once in a while. Fine for you once in a while. Not fine for me all the time. Sorry, not fine for you as a professional all the time, either. And certainly not fine for our children.

Pushing yourself, digging deeper, exercising your brain, flexing your mental muscles, hitting walls, wanting to scream in frustration, spending hours trying to break into that special space in your mind where a good idea or concept for an illustration might reside…or that killer sentence – that, to me, is the creative spirit. The path to real imagination. That is what I fear we are already losing the most.

I am all for safe and reliable artificial intelligence when it’s helping in the fight against medical ailments, saving people from shootings with weapons detection technology, making the world a better place and helping with offloading mundane tasks that are the bane of our existence.

But ask yourself honestly, in the long run, are these kinds of tools making you smarter?

Or dumber.

And if you’re not asking for yourself, at the very least, ask the question for your children. They deserve it.